Webtrends Optimize helps VIP SKI drive huge uplift in online bookings
VIP SKI has been operating for 30 years, providing luxury chalets and hotels across ten resorts throughout France and Austria. Unlike a travel agent, VIP SKI only provide their own accommodation which allows them to offer a level of unrivalled luxury to their clients.
With over 99% of guests saying they would recommend VIP SKI to friends, their business has grown organically over the years through a reputation for providing a bespoke, opulent ski experience unequalled in the market.
VIP SKI has traditionally taken the majority of bookings over the phone but in recent years have invested in their online presence to expand their reach and lessen the load on their sales staff. With potential customers being more accustomed to booking holidays online, it was important that their website could match the existing offline experience.
Whilst their website improved initial engagement, the percentage of online bookings were still comparatively low, with many online bookings still being finalised over the phone which increased the pressure on their sales staff.
Nici Hardy, Marketing Manager at VIP SKI, said “We thought our website would increase the number of bookings whilst reducing our sales team workload. What actually happened was we got more people visiting the site, but the workload got heavier as people wanted to talk directly to us to finalise their bookings.”
What was needed was a way of retaining visitor engagement and maintaining a frictionless customer journey from start to finish.
"Though the test was relatively simple in itself, what was most impressive was the way in which the Webtrends Optimize team used their suite of tools and analysed the data to identify the key problem area so quickly."
Marketing Manager, VIP SKI
The team at Webtrends Optimize were tasked to review areas of resistance within the booking funnel and after an intensive website review with VIP SKI, a plan of action was agreed and put into action.
The most obvious area was to retain interest and to reduce the number of visitors leaving the site without concluding the booking process. Even though some took to the phone to finalise their booking, many more were lost, abandoning the site altogether and not returning.
Understanding where and why this was happening was the priority.
Using Webtrends Optimize to run baseline analysis and A/B test some alternative experiences, a ‘pinch-point’ of the customer journey was quickly identified when it came to booking flights. This was an essential part of the booking funnel and many visitors hesitated and then abandoned at this point. What was needed was a ‘nudge’ to encourage visitors to continue.
Rather than losing customer engagement, an exit intent light box was displayed when a period of inactivity was recorded, allowing the visitor to request help offline or continue with their booking. The experiment was to be initiated across desktop and mobile (where the site had most traffic) to determine the relative results. The results were impressive.
“The results we saw from the exit intent experiment are fantastic, with a 12% increase in our online bookings in such a short space of time.”
Marketing Manager, VIP SKI
Over a 19-day test period the overall experiment proved extremely positive with progression through the sales funnel improving markedly across both device types.
Conversions increased significantly. Both in progression past the flights selection (the previous abandonment point) and subsequent booking completion. Though progression was by a smaller amount on mobile, the booking completion uplift was still significant.
Exit Intent experiment increases over control (the normal page):
Nici Hardy, Marketing Manager at VIP SKI said “The results we saw from the exit intent experiment are fantastic, with a 12% increase in our online bookings in such a short space of time. This is exactly what we hoped to see working with Webtrends Optimize.
“Though the test was relatively simple in itself, what was most impressive was the way in which the Webtrends Optimize team used their suite of tools and analysed the data to identify the key problem area so quickly, so that we could test alternative experiences to overcome this.
“With further experiments planned I am excited to see how we can continue to improve the online experience for our clients.”
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